New community park opens at former school site in Hyde Park: Growing beds

20 Feb 2024

New community park opens at former school site in Hyde Park

Community groups Parks and countryside

The community park on the former site of Royal Park School is officially opened. Hyde Park’s new Royal Park will provide residents with vegetable growing beds, a fruit orchard and outdoor gym facilities.

The Royal Park School, a primary school as well as a neighbourhood landmark and community hub, was permanently closed in 2004 and eventually demolished. Following conversations between community members and Leeds City Council a decision was made in 2020 to turn the site into a new park.

Discussions with the community showed a desire for the park to be a center for community activity with suggestions such as community gardens, after school activities, and educational opportunities to learn gardening and food growing.

Earlier this month, the park was officially opened by community representatives including members of Hyde Park Neighbourhood Forum.

Royal Park now provides community garden beds where people can grow vegetables, and a fruit orchard where anyone is welcome to pick and eat the fruit. There will also be a mixture of wildflowers growing, to give a display of colour and a source of nectar for a variety of pollinating insects, from spring through to late autumn.

An outdoor gym has been built next to the multi-use games area to support people in being physically active. The park also offers enhanced children’s play features, both aimed at younger and older children.

Some features remain from the site’s school days, including benches where the children used to sit.

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate, energy, environment and green space, said:

“It’s wonderful to see Royal Park finally open to the public and we are delighted with how it’s turned out. We know it’s been a while coming, but the park is now open and ready to be enjoyed by the Hyde Park community.

“As a green space, it will provide many benefits to the neighbourhood and bring people together, similar to how Royal Park School used to back in the day. We’ve put up a sign in the park for anyone who wants to read about the history of the school and how it came to be a park.”

For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team